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Chapter 23

POLS 1400 Chapter Notes - Chapter 23: John Diefenbaker, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Section 33 Of The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1400
Nanita Mohan

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Westminster model - Based off British system
House of Commons
Members are elected
- A member of parliament or legislator who holds no governmental
office and is not a frontbench spokesperson in the Opposition
- Backbenchers individually do not have much power to influence
gov’t policy
- They play a role in offering services to their constituents and
relaying the opinions of their constituents
338 members
Session - 135 days
We used to have PARLIAMENTARY SUPREMACY, now power is limited and have
more judicial supremacy
Each province is represented in proportion to its population
The Constitution Act, 1867 required from the beginning that all House documents be
printed in English and French
There is a high turnover rate of about 40% after each election
Functions and Powers of the HOC
The principle function of the HOC and Senate is the Legislative function
A second function is Representation- MPs articulate local interests by the means
of questions, statements, and petitions
Third function is scrutiny- to hold the executive branch accountable
Has a role in policymaking
Since the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms the courts have been
given the power to review both federal and provincial legislation, and to invalidate
legislation when there are contradictions to the CR&F
Notwithstanding clause- In section 33
Known as the the override power
it allows Parliament or provincial legislatures to override certain
portions of the Charter. It was, and continues to be, perhaps the
most controversial provision of the Charter.
Composition of Parliament
Head of State/Sovereignty (Queen)
Represented by Governor General
Canada is commonwealth country
Symbolic figure
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Head of government (Prime Minister)
Members appointed by PM
Size differs every term
Trudeau appointed experts in each field/gendered his Cabinet
Legislative - Bicameral (two houses)
House of Commons
Elected; First past the post
Lower chamber
338 members
Overrepresentation for PEI, Territories
Bills introduced to further become law
All money bills originate in Commons
Elected members deliberate
Session: work 135 days
Throne Speech
- Each session of Parliament begins with a throne
speech, it’s function is to outline the government's
legislative plans for the session (it’s budgetary
Budget Speech - Estimates
- Focuses on taxes and outlines expenditures for the
upcoming fiscal year
- Fleshes out the vague promises of the throne
- The budget sets the stage for a 4 day wheeling
debate and provides the opposition with a second
chance to defeat the
22 opposition days
Representation by population
Back benchers (MPs that don’t have specific post)
Left side, 2nd most votes opposes with some members of other
Shadow Cabinet (reflection of cabinet on opposition)
Daily order of business
Question PM, make motions, non-member discussions,
adjournment proceedings
Appointed by Governor General on advice from PM
Upper chamber
105 members
Ontario, Quebec, West: 24 each (6 in 4 western provinces)
PEI: 4
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